Diwali is around the corner. This means that almost a billion people around the world will be cleaning their homes, buying new clothes, setting off fireworks and gathering with friends and family. Homemade sweets and snacks are a big part of this festival. Here’s an easy recipe for toasted coconut pecan burfi, that I tweaked to make in my desi Canadian kitchen.
One of my fondest memories growing up was walking around the neighbourhood, carrying beautiful trays, and wishing everyone “Happy Diwali.” My mom would decorate the trays with homemade mithai (sweets) and “voluntell” my brother and me to dress up to deliver the trays.
To this day, this is one of my favourite traditions of Diwali. Except that the neighbourhood is now in Toronto. And there’s a good possibility that it may be snowing outside.
Easy Diwali Sweet that will impress
In India, many people start cooking for Diwali at least a week before the festival. Families and communities get together in one kitchen to make traditional dishes. Some of these are eaten only around Diwali time.
Over the years, my Diwali cooking has been somewhat simplified. I have a few easy Diwali burfis that have become a standard feature in my Diwali plate. And yes, I have continued that same tradition that my mom started decades ago. I usually make a couple of homemade snacks. Supplement with a few store-bought items and I end a plate that my friends will love.
Toasted Coconut and Pecan Burfi
Coconut is a popular ingredient in Indian sweets. Add nuts to that and you’ve pretty much checked off most people’s favourite flavours in Indian sweets. I make my version of this burfi using toasted coconut, roasted pecans and dulce de leche for triple oomph of caramelized flavour.
I make my own caramel dulce de leche in the Instant Pot. This sounds hard but like most of my cooking, it is easy to replicate in your kitchen. Alternately, you could use just condensed milk. The toasted flavour ends up muted that way but it is still delicious.
Toasted coconut and pecan burfi; made with or without the Instant Pot
3-ingredient 20-minute easy Diwali sweet recipe.
Please see the caramel recipe for the Instant Pot here.
Easy Diwali Sweet
- 1 1/2 cup Shredded unsweetened Coconut The desiccated variety. If using fresh, then toasting will take an extra 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup Pecans
- 3 tbsp Dulce de leche If not available on hand use plain condensed milk.
- 2 green Cardamoms Husks removed and discarded
Roast dry coconut in a dry hot pan.
Add the cardamom seeds. Keep the mixture moving otherwise it will burn.
Toast the coconut till its evenly light brown in colour.
This takes about 5 mins.
Toast the pecans in the same pan till the aroma changes. This takes about 6-7 mins
Grind the cooled mixture in a coffee grinder or blender to a coarse mixture. A couple of pecans left whole will add to the look and colour of the final burfi.
Mix the coconut mixture with the dulce de leche in a mix bowl and knead together till it comes together.
Press into a pan lined with parchment paper. Push down into an even layer.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Take out and slice into diamonds.